A Review [Of Reading and Watching]

I am not always late. When I am, it tends to be extremely so. I spent the last three days of my vacation binging on Stephen King movies. An interesting tidbit about me, I am a product of family members who love to read. And, I have read a great many books in my life. But when it comes to Stephen King–an author whom I claim is my favorite of all time– I have read two of his books: Carrie and Cell. In the past month I have acquired Everything’s Eventual and Stephen King On Writing. I am currently working my way through the latter, and find that it is increasingly difficult to do so with five chapters of one text and two of another to read by next week.

It takes me longer than I’d like to admit to read these days. When I was younger I could read a two hundred page book in three days. Nowadays, if a book does not interest me within the first three pages, it takes about a month at max. But, this is an entirely different post about an entirely different thing.

Aside from my shame at claiming an author to be my favorite and only having read two of his published works, I find myself drawn to his stories. Therefore, I am a King-Movieverse kind of girl. My favorite movies based on his works are The Shining, Carrie, Pet Semetary, Misery, Stephen King’s Cat’s Eye, The Lawnmower Man, and Tales from the Darkside. I have seen others but, these rank as the ones that are highest in my scared shitless meter. Of all of the movies I have seen my favorite one is Dreamcatcher. After Dreamcatcher is 1408.

Dreamcatcher may not have been the most visually stunning movie. I may never forget Morgan Freeman’s wild eyebrows which may be an indication of what I will look like one day. But, the film featured three things that I find important in my personal life. Things which may be present but, often times I cannot tell. Friendship which transcends the boundaries of time, binding childhood trauma and events, and hidden abilities which seem pointless to some but are major to the self and the group.

As I have said, I spent the last three days binging on Stephen King movies. Cell, 1408, Stand By Me, and It. I had seen 1408 before and absolutely love the film. The reason I purchased Everything’s Eventual is because 1408, the work that the film is based on, is in that book. Stand By Me is a movie which I have seen parodied and referenced in mainstream television countless times. I never understood any of the references. Even when the references were play by plays of the story, I never understood them. I was extremely pleased with the film. The funniest thing I recall was how when I watched it, I kept connecting to E.B. Sledge’s memoirs, and I don’t know why.

I read Cell in two days, right after it was released and loved it. It was a film that fell into the zombie genre easily, but featured a twist in the infection method, rate, and evolution. It easily stands out as a classic which I can one day tell my grandchildren (assuming that I have any) that they must watch. I was terrified of the movie despite the reunion of John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson, two actors whom I find to be the best of their colleagues. I was afraid that the film would water down the edge of the book. However, I was greatly surprised that the film was as close to the book as it could be, even if there were some differences between the story on the screen and the story on the page. It may have helped that Stephen King was one of the screenplay writers.

Of all the movies I had finally watched for the first time, It, has to be the scariest. I watched the movie because I am going to watch the reboot in a few weeks. I tend to abhor watching reboots and not watching the originals. I did this once before with George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead and I have regretted this decision ever since. I had time, I had the 3.99 it took to rent it ( I bought it for 12.99) but I consumed it. First, I realized that this was an incredibly long film. Only upon reading synopsis online did I realize that this was a miniseries.

The film contained everything that I loved about Dreamcatcher with the mind-fuckery of 1408! To say that I didn’t enjoy this movie would be a major lie. In fact, it inspired me to begin writing story ideas again. I even found a passage in Stephen King On Writing which felt really familiar. [Forgive me, oh wise one, I know you told me not to do that!] However, I found it incredibly hard to sleep later on that evening. What made things worse was that when I was attempting to sleep, a very large spider lowered itself from my ceiling to the base of my bed in the glow of my television. I leapt from my bed so fast that I almost hurt myself. I had to call in a family member to kill the insect. [We vacuumed it up. Pretty sure it’s alive in the vacuum cleaner and plotting revenge.] The next day, a baby spider was also in my room.

One thing is certain, I have not felt that terrified in a long time. I don’t think it was entirely the spider’s fault.